Ross believes that the business can double in size over the next 3-5 years ‘without breaking a sweat’

Ardonagh chief executive David Ross (pictured) has stated that he expects the business to “double in size” over the next 3-5 years.

On a conference call this morning where he went through the company’s financial results for the six months leading to 30 June 2019, Ross said the company is putting together it’s new 3-5 year strategic plan, which will include international expansion.

“We have plans to double business size over the next 3-5 years.

Ardonagh Group

“Rob [Worrall, chief executive of insurance broking] should be able to drive organic growth comfortably. But if you go into the international arena, there are key hubs that we trade in that can help.”

Ross said the business can grow to twice its size within three years “without breaking a sweat” by investing in projects abroad which will improve the UK business.

Financial results

It was a mixed bag for Ardonagh’s results, after it confirmed that all Swinton branches have now closed.

Income and adjusted EBITDA grew for H1 2019 compared to the year before.

Ardonagh (3)

Income grew by 24% in 2019 compared to the year before, while adjusted EBITDA grew by half.

However, operating costs grew again from £206.4m to £239.1m. This however, came after David Ross claimed the last of a “tough and expensive” revitalisation of Towergate came to a close.

Towergate now ‘the best house on a smaller road’

Ross said that when Ardonagh took over Towergate three years ago, he was bringing in the “worst house on the best street” with competitors such as Aston Scott (now Aston Lark), JLT and others.

But the company started a “12-quarter plan” to turn the business around, and that came to an end in June.

Ross said: “This is a pretty seismic moment in time for a lot of people. Three years ago we set off in a 12-quarter plan. It was going to cost a lot of money to renovate and improve Towergate.

“A lot of people told me that we couldn’t fix an unfixable company. But I saw it had a healthy middle market penetration with a strong challenger brand to compete with the bigger companies.”

Ross said that every quarter in that plan saw the company spend more money than it was making, but now, he sees a business that is “the best house on a smaller street.”

“With many players now disappearing, and with what we have turned Towergate into, I see it as the best house in a smaller street, with fewer houses,” he said.

Now, it appears Ross has finished his turnaround project with Towergate, and is turning his attention to Swinton.